Insights On US Boomers

Mintel has just published a comprehensive study on the “Lifestyles of Baby Boomers – US” now available for download at the princely sum of US$3,995 here.

In terms of decision making drivers, the report concludes that quality and value more important to Boomers. (Wouldn’t pay $4k for that).

However, there’s some really interesting facts and figures publicly available in the ‘Table of Contents’ as follows:


  • Boomers make up 26% of the U.S. population in 2009
  • Majority of Boomers are white
  • Younger Boomers have highest household incomes
  • About half of Baby Boomers attended or graduated from college
  • Most Boomers (65%) are married and homeowners
  • Almost 80% of Older Boomers live in households of two or less; 89% with no children


  • Time is valuable
  • Some 41% of Boomers planning for or in retirement
  • Like all adults in 2009, Boomers are grocery shopping for value at Walmart
  • Older Boomers spend less than average on weekly groceries
  • Best Buy leads electronics stores for Boomer purchases, but Walmart is popular too
  • Home Depot number one home improvement store among Boomers; Lowe’s close number two
  • Walgreens leads drug store chains among Boomers and all adults
  • Little loyalty for convenience stores



  • Boomers use internet more for information, less for entertainment
  • Nearly 60% of Boomers like to learn computer tech
  • Some 62% of Baby Boomers have made an internet purchase
  • More Older Boomers purchase prescription drugs
  • Younger Boomers spend the most on internet purchases
  • Older Boomers more likely to pay for internet orders with credit cards
  • Older Boomer fear of identity theft could reduce credit card use on internet


  • Health and wellness are important to Older Boomers
  • Older Boomers gather health information from their doctors primarily but also research treatments on their own
  • Older Boomers rely on doctors more than younger adults
  • Boomers are willing to challenge a doctor’s recommendation
  • Sick Younger Boomers are more likely to go to work


  • Only 8% of Baby Boomers feel very secure about current financial situation
  • Most Baby Boomers are really feeling the recession
  • More than half of Boomers have little disposable income and need to save
  • Older Boomers take advantage of opportunities to save and earn
  • Older Boomers’ credit card use is higher than Younger Boomers’
  • Investment ownership higher among Baby Boomers than all adults
  • Almost 90% of Older Boomers carry health/hospital/life insurance


  • Some 61% of Older Boomers say listening to music is top leisure activity
  • Gardening is a leisure activity participated in by 42% of Older Boomers
  • Family-style activities attract Younger Boomers; less so Older Boomers
  • Older Boomers have more discretionary time than Younger Boomers
  • Some 43% of Older Boomers exercise regularly; 46% of Younger Boomers
  • Reading/purchasing books is a popular leisure activity among Boomers
  • Traditional bookstores leading outlets as the main source for book purchases
  • Roughly two thirds of Boomers and all adults attend live entertainment
  • Younger Boomers/all adults play strenuous sports, unlike Older Boomers
  • Summer (and winter) Olympics capture the interest of more Boomers
  • Reach Younger Boomers through radio; Older Boomers via TV/newspapers



  • Older Boomers skew to more frequent domestic travel vs. younger adults
  • More Older Boomer domestic travelers enroll in frequent guest programs
  • Adults and Boomers prefer cars over planes for domestic personal travel
  • Foreign vacation travel almost doubled among Boomers between 2006 and 2008
  • Baby Boomers spend an average of $2,600 on foreign travel for vacation
  • For foreign vacation destinations, Older Boomers play it safe
  • Hotels and motels most popular for Boomer foreign vacation stay
  • Boomers prefer U.S.-based airlines for foreign personal travel


  • Boomers are not slaves to fashion
  • A third or fewer Boomers dissatisfied with retailers/clothing about style, size, or price
  • Walmart is the top retailer for apparel
  • T-shirts among top clothing items purchased by both males and females
  • The classic/traditional jeans brands of the 1960s and 1970s are still favorites of Boomers


  • Older Boomers claim to eat more healthfully than all adults in general
  • Coupons only motivate about a third of Older Boomers to try new foods
  • Less than a quarter of Older Boomers enjoy trying new drinks
  • Boomers and all adults dine at family restaurants/steak houses an average of four times per month
  • The majority of all Boomers and adults eat at fast food restaurants 14 or more times per month
  • Lunch is the most common fast food meal occasion
  • McDonald’s is number one with Older Boomers, but less fond of Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell than younger adults

Now go and buy the report.